Syrian army repels major rebel attack in Hama
The Syrian army on Thursday foiled a major rebel attack on military sites in the central province of Hama, state news agency SANA reported, amid reports of a fresh Russian-Turkish truce in that area.
SANA said the army thwarted the attack by the rebels in the northern countryside of Hama province, where battles have been raging since late April.
The rebel groups of the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front unleashed a fresh round of attack on the outskirts of the Hamamyat town in northern Hama, said SANA.
It said the army fought intense battles with the Nusra Front and allied militant groups large in number.
It added that the rebels were backed by tanks and vehicles with machine guns as well as suicide bombers, who attempted to make a breach and push toward the town of Kirnaz west of Hamamyat.
The intense battles ended with the army foiling the attack, said SANA, adding that after the battles, the army combed the area and found the bodies of dead foreign rebels.
Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said Thursday that the battles continued in the countryside of Hama and the nearby southern countryside of Idlib despite reports of a Russian-Turkish-backed truce in those areas.
The Britain-based watchdog group cited Turkish reports as saying that the Syrian army attacked a Turkish observation point in Idlib.
It’s worth noting that the Turkish forces maintain several observation points in Idlib, as this province, and rebel-held areas in the surrounding areas such as in Latakia and Hama as well as Aleppo countryside areas, are included in a de-escalation zones’ deal.
The deal was reached between Russia and Turkey in September of last year.
Under the deal, the ultra-radical groups should evacuate their areas and hand over their heavy weapons.
However, the al-Qaida-linked militant groups expanded and captured the entire Idlib area and engaged in battles with the Syrian army and these battles evolved into a full showdown that has started in late April.